Big Decision: Do not let Patrick Peterson win game

December, 4, 2011
12/04/11
9:10
AM ET
GLENDALE, Ariz. - Let’s be perfectly clear, Arizona stinks on offense.

The Cardinals rank 23rd in total offense (315.7) and points scored (19.7) and 31st in third-down conversions (30.5%).

Arizona’s quarterbacks have been sacked 36 times. Only two teams have allowed more.

The only way the Cardinals can generate offense is with help from Patrick Peterson, one of league’s two best punt returners.

He’s returned four punts of more than 80 yards for touchdowns. He has two other returns of more than 20 yards.

He breathes life into the Cardinals emotionally, and he’s more than capable of giving the offense great field position.

Jason Garrett can not let Peterson affect the game.

Period.

This is not a game for egos.

Hang time is more important than punt length. Garrett must either have Mat McBriar angle the ball out of bounds or hang it so high that it must be fair caught.

And whatever McBriar does, he can’t punt the ball in the middle of the field, where Peterson has options.

Garrett’s primary task today is to make sure Peterson doesn’t impact the game because that’s the only way Arizona can win.

Jean-Jacques Taylor joined ESPNDallas.com in August 2011. A native of Dallas, Taylor spent the past 20 years writing for The Dallas Morning News, where he covered high schools sports, the Texas Rangers and spent 11 seasons covering the Dallas Cowboys before becoming a general columnist in 2006.

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